Ryoji Ikeda at DHC Art
After a few intense and long hour days of shooting and being the DOP in a commercial production in Montreal last week, I found myself walking aimlessly through the streets of the old port. I was a bit drained, and without much in my head, a little empty. I thought it would be the perfect state of mind to go to DHC Art, probably my favourite art gallery in town.
In there I came across the beautiful work of Philipe Parreno, Omer Fast, and Ceal Floyer among others. I didn’t know what I was going to see, but I had a good feeling that something new and exciting was awaiting for me there, and I was right! I was delighted to see a solo exhibition by Japanese composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda, whose work my friend Gaston Soucy had introduced to me a month or so ago.
Ikeda’s work explores the beauty and intricacy of mathematics, data, and sound, and is presented in a poetic and incredibly elegant way. In the exhibit I saw lightboxes with microfilms of star clusters, old computer punch cards, autoplay piano codes, and 3×3 foot panels with prints of tiny little numbers that filled the panel with the numerical expression of the irrational mathematical constants π, ø, e.Ikeda also displays visual representation of time, alluding to John Cage’s 4’33″ composition, and the phisicality of time visualized though strips of 16mm film.
There was also a music and projection installation called datamatics which presented a symphony of electronic sounds, all in tune with a 18 ft high projection and 10 smaller projections displaying raw data, computer graphics of astronomical maps, dna charts, etc. What amazes me about Ikeda’s work is his capability to present obscure and complex mathematical and computer science concepts in such a beautiful and poetic way, which creates an entry point, and allows viewers to explore these without awe instead of fear and aprehension.
The show is open until November 18, 2012, and Ryoji Ikeda will be doing a live visual and concert at the Phi Center in Montreal on September 15th. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Phi Center. If you are in town, I strongly encourage you to experience his work. You’ll be amazed!